6 Words: Memoir Challenge – Exercise 2 – Write to Beat Writer’s Block

Ok. Yesterday, you should have listed 6 concrete words that signify yourself in some way. Today, we have a short writing exercise.

6 Words: Memoir Challenge – Exercise 2: For each of the 6 words that you listed, write one simple paragraph to express the way the word is significant to you. Write is an uninterrupted Stream of Consciousness. Do not stop to edit ANYTHING. Write first- Edit Later. Don’t even stop to check spelling. Sound it out and do your best speling in this draft. Just write. If you need to do so, close your eyes and type. Don’t aim for a flowery, descriptive passage yet. We’ll add descriptions tomorrow. For today, just write.

I’ll pretend that one of my words is Underwear. I need to write a paragraph that tells why underwear is important to me.


From a time before I can even remember it, underwear has covered my bare behind. I grew up during the 1950s, and most people wore white underwear at that time. But I remember when some of my friends got Days of the Week panties, and Oh My! I wanted some precious little bloomers with Sunday, Monday, etc., scribed across the front. Bright and colorful, those panties usually had dainty flowers scattered across them. Perhaps my life would have been different if I had been given some fancy underwear when I was a little girl.

Here is an important writing tip: When I began writing my paragraph about underwear, I had no idea what I would ultimately write. NONE! I only selected that word for my example paragraph because I felt sure that no one would be writing about the same word.  When I began my paragraph, I feared that I would have nothing to say about it. But after I had written the first sentence, the rest of the words came to me. My intuition completed the paragraph. My greatest tool is my intuition, It writes all my first drafts.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved
until I set him free”

– Michelangelo –

In the above words, Michelangelo has described how intuition helped him sculpt. Michelangelo was also a painter, and no doubt, his greatest painting covers the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. One of the paintings on that ceiling is The Creation of Adam.

If you look carefully at the renderings of God and Adam, you can see that God’s finger does not touch Adam’s finger. The Creation of Adam is emblematic of the power of God which is so very strong that it was not necessary for the fingers of Adam and God to touch. The power of God was strong enough to reach across the gap between the fingers of God and man.

The Creation of Adam Detail

Annie Dillard has told us that the good stuff in writing lies in the gaps:

Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Intuition lies in the gaps. Because it is a type of formless stuff that is almost hiding in the gaps, it is hard to define, but I’ll take a stab at it. Intuition is a driving force that is buried somewhere within an individual, and when a creator allows it to do so, intuition can help the artist make decisions as he creates. This internal force works for all types of artists–be they painters, writers, or songwriters.

Write in A Stream of Consciousness to Hush Your Self-Editor

Something about writing seems to intimidate and/or frighten many people. Writing in a Stream of Consciousness can help get you past that fear of writing.


What Is Writing in A Stream of Consciousness?

  1. Writing in a Stream of Consciousness is a Type of Free Writing. 
  2. Writing in a Stream of Consciousness is a Type of Quick, Flash Writing. 
  3. After you Begin Writing in a Stream of Consciousness, You Do Not Stop to Check Your Grammar, Your Punctuation, Your Spelling, or Anything Else. You Just Start Writing and See Where Your Words Take You. You Simply Plow Through to the End.
  4. When You Remove all your Editing and Other Gags, Your Mind Will Expand Thoughts that you never knew you had will come to you via your Intuition.